The past couple of months have been crazy busy. I’ve literally had more work than I could comfortably handle. Exactly what every solopreneur wishes for, right? Most of my friends who are also entrepreneurs are really happy for me and many of them have voiced that they wish they could also be that busy.

But then how come I was feeling so….well…tired, undervalued, taken advantage off, hurt.

It turns out being busy is not the right thing for me to BE.

I have a confession to make. I stopped taking my own advice and it really burned me….

Working six days a week, on Saturdays and even public holidays is not what I signed up for when I started my business. Although it is great for my bank balance in the short term, it is not a sustainable way to run a business. When we are constantly giving because we think we have to go the extra mile for our clients, it becomes easy to fall into the trap of an abusive client relationship.

I think we’ve all been there. Having clients that initially seem amazing and you can’t believe how lucky you are to have them. They wine and dine you. They tell you how great you are. They constantly want to take you out to lunch, by you coffee and feed you cake. They phone you to chat and check in ……a lot. They phone you after hours to “just tie up loose ends”. They start thinking they own you. They want to believe that they are your only client and then become “jealous” when you don’t  pay attention to them 24/7. They start withholding crucial information relating to projects and only tell you last minute, so you don’t have room to maneuver. They start getting slack with paying your bills…

What I found to be the worst about this situation was that I was allowing it. I had lost my perspective, because I got so caught up in being busy and not being true to me and my values. I sacrificed some of my self care practices to better serve my clients, but the truth is I was not serving them better and I was harming myself in the process. My life was not rocking. I was on a fast track to hitting rock bottom – I recognised the signs of my old friend Burnout. I had to make a change and DO LESS. Yep, I do my best work with clients when I’m actually not all that busy. I’m able to recognise opportunities better, when I’m not working 24/7.battles quote

So I took back control:

  1. I made a decision to set even clearer boundaries (even if it meant losing a client)
  2. I opened up my schedule by either moving out appointments or cancelling certain activities/events all together.
  3. I went to bed earlier and made sure I got 8 hours good sleep a night.
  4. I reviewed my nutrition – what was I putting in my body? I needed food that fueled me.

I’m back to being me again, the me I want to be. The me that lives life on her own terms.

Here is wishing you life on your own terms.

 

1 Comment on Are your clients abusing you?

  1. Denise Faller
    May 21, 2015 at 6:25 am (3 years ago)

    A powerful post! You really got to the heart of a very common problem, especially for women. It does come down to taking time to stand still in all this busyness and then reflecting on the ways youvalue yourself and your time. Then thinking through what you will accept from others by identifying the long term consequences this could have in your life and business. Hemmingway agreed with you when he said that we should not confuse motion with action. Thanks for the insight!

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